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Fanfic / Wings to Fly

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A Mobile Suit Gundam Wing story following Lucrezia Noin, by Night.

Following unspecified relationship troubles with Zechs Merquise, Lucrezia Noin returns to Earth and rejoins the Preventers in AC 197, being posted to command of a reforming Space Mobile Suit squadron that originally belonged to the Alliance. The world is not as quiet as those who dreamed of peace might hope, for there are still thousands of mobile suits unaccounted for, and thousands of pilots who came of age with the wars of the new era. The demons of the past and the realities of the present will both have to be confronted by the pilots of Space Mobile Suit Squadron Twenty-Two.



  • The Ace: Duo Maxwell invented an entirely new, and demonstrably superior, style of beamsaber fencing in three months for a consulting job with the Preventers. He apparently thought this process was boring.
  • Ace Pilot: It's noted that SMS-22 at the beginning averages over four hundred hours of combat flight time and forty kills. This is without counting Duo Maxwell. The least-experienced pilots in the squadron have over ten kills, qualifying them as double aces.
  • Action Girl: Noin. Hilde Schebeiker. Forsythe, Noin's wing. Several other characters.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Noin is "Boss" to Duo and Hilde, and "Skipper" to most of the rest of her squadron. She doesn't actually know what "Skipper" means the first time she hears it.
  • A Good Way to Die: Dyer's mother, who died fighting off an Aries raid on her carrier group on day five of Operation Daybreak. When Noin points out the practice of wearing a gun in the cockpit wasn't lucky for her, Dyer responds that making ace inside five minutes and successfully saving the battlegroup isn't a failure.
  • All a Part of the Job: Forsythe will often include "a good wing looks after her lead" in a statement about why she is doing something for/with Noin that's manifestly beyond the normal responsibilities of a wingman.
    • She also did this for Richard Dyer when he was her lead, during AC 195, and used the same phrase. Noin recognizes he's describing Forsythe by the fact he says "a good wing looks after their lead" when describing the wingman that recognized he was psychologically self-destructing and arrested the process.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted from the original; an Aries 90mm chaingun can't penetrate most of the armor on a Preventer Taurus. At the same time played straighter than the original as well: certain parts of a Gundam can be penetrated with standard Preventer weapons, but they prefer to arm themselves with either highly focused lasers or heavy beam rifles that have better armor-piercing characteristics.
    • The standard rifle of a Super Leo, common to the colonial militias, cannot penetrate the armor of a Gundam. Their 203mm shoulder-mounted guns can, as a Deathscythe Guilty discovers when a squadron of Super Leos blows its reactor and cockpit out its back.
    • Outer Colonies Gundams are in fact Gundams, but have such thin armor that they're easily penetrated by most standard weapons; they rely entirely on their mobility and Zero System to survive.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Dyer cites a book, chapter, and verse to Noin, but does not provide the actual quote. Noin knows the reference from memory.
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  • Bayonet Ya: The standard Preventer Taurus beam rifle includes a bayonet lug for one of the suit's beamsabers. It was intended as an emergency defensive weapon, to allow a pilot to hold an enemy at bay with a quick parry or thrust while they drew a beamsaber to counterattack. Ironically, ex-Alliance pilots tend to regard the bayonet as the primary close-combat weapon over conventional beamsabers.
  • Badass Normal: The unnamed last survivor of the Io Militia Taurus squadron. Sixteen suits go into Mars' atmosphere; thirteen of them die before they can even defend themselves. Two more are killed seconds after they're able to maneuver. The lone remaining pilot manages to stand off Noin and her wing, trading fire with them on nearly even terms. Even when two more of Noin's squadron joins the fight, they manage to survive and make a run for it after a pair of Outer Colonies Gundams join the fight. It shows up again during the raid on the mine, and again survives Noin and her wing, as well as killing a different member of the squadron.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Zechs certainly seems to think so, but retroactively; at the same time he defected to the Outer Colonies because of Reformed, But Rejected.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Most characters, to varying degrees. The Marquis of Queensbury was not a mobile suit pilot, and it's expected that most people will take the backshots, try to stay away from the pilots known for being melee monsters, attempt to kill the aces with massive coordinated missile volleys, and generally avoid anything that resembles a fair fight if possible. When Tallgeese is shot in the back while dueling with the prototype Striker Serpent, Zechs is surprised not that someone took the free backshot, but that they were willing to fire into so chaotic a melee and risk hitting a friend. Later, he is completely unsurprised that Gundam pilots are willing to fire missiles into a melee.
  • Continuity Nod: All over the place.
    • Preflight mentions that Trieze took a bullet for Noin once, nodding towards Frozen Teardrop. But see also Discontinuity Nod.
    • Events from the series are frequently mentioned. Ex-Alliance characters remember OZ's coup during Operation Daybreak less-than-fondly, and some of them lost family. Noin's position as an instructor at Victoria and the events of the episode "The Victoria Nightmare" are often referenced. And Hilde's infiltration of Libra is mentioned regularly.
    • During the dogfight at the end of Taxiing, Noin recognizes an Aries radar profile from memory. Similarly, her tactics are predicated on the fact that while she's not ultra-familiar with her newly upgraded Taurus, she knows exactly how well an Aries can fly.
    • The closing scene of Episode 47 is referenced in that Noin had an opportunity to shoot Zechs in the back, and didn't take it. It's implied this forms a major source of her discomfort with her relationship with Zechs, because she thinks she should have.
      • Noin directly references this one again when she attacks Zechs during Jink Low, saying that Zechs gave her one opportunity to shoot him in the back when attacking her family and she will never refuse to take that shot again.
    • The Tiel's Impulse model kitbashes are a part of this universe, and form the first competent opposition of the story.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: First Mars. The Outer Colonies were not prepared for the capabilities of Intrepid and their losses before contact meant they really had no way to win. This does not make life much easier on the main characters though, who aren't part of the spaceside battle and have to intercept people coming into the atmosphere.
  • Culture Clash: Noin understands European land military slang, not American naval military slang. When one of her pilots calls her "Skipper" she can only guess she's not being insulted from the reactions of others and has to look it up later. She later reflects on the danger of forgetting that it's a bulkhead, not a wall, in the same vein.
    • Both Noin and Focht have to ask what the expression "string someone up" means.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Trowa Barton's impersonation of the real Trowa Barton has taken on a life of its own, with a group of people in power having convinced him to press his claim and become the real Trowa Barton. The Barton family has staged two attempted colony drops and takeovers of humanity, and the coalition wants someone with some conscience to bring the family to heel.
  • Degraded Boss: Zero System suits are not easy to kill yet, but most pilots in AC 198 have trained against simulated Zero Systems. It's specifically stated that ways have been worked out to attack how the Zero System evaluates incoming data, forcing it to make wrong conclusions about what enemies will do.
  • Discontinuity Nod: Noin is on good terms with her family, who actually do live on Earth and are actually Italian nobility. They exchange letters throughout the story, contradicting Frozen Teardrop. Her father actually appears during Unstick.
    • Heero Yuy is in Preventer service with the intelligence and counterinsurgency branch, rather than in cryo.
    • Epyon was recovered from the ocean rather earlier than planned, and is destined for being a non-functional museum piece.
  • Due to the Dead: The squadron's "anthem" is a version of The Revel, usually (incorrectly) credited to Bartholomew Dowling. The refrain of the song is "One cup to the dead already, and hurrah to the next one who dies."
    • Noin takes a moment to offer a prayer for two of her pilots who died.
  • Expy: Chao Lingshen is a pilot in the Mars Colonial Militia.
    • The Outer Colonies Gundams (Type Zero) are basically the Victory Gundam with Wing Zero's wings and a reduced-scale Twin Buster Rifle.
  • Flawed Prototype: The Trans-Orbital Strike Taurus breaks down during its first combat deployment, managing to fry its own thruster system late in the battle.
  • Had to Be Sharp: Pilots who fought mobile dolls and won are looked at differently by their peers, particularly those who fought Virgo dolls. This primarily has to do with the near-perfect gunnery of mobile dolls, and in the case of the Virgos the need to somehow decoy them into pointing their shield the wrong way.
    • Survive single combat against a suit with a Zero System and you are considered a rare breed of pilot indeed.
  • He Didn't Make It: Focht's habit in referring to people who died during the Eve Wars is to say they "didn't make it to the end." It also becomes Dyer's way of referring to Focht's death.
  • High-Speed Missile Dodge: In Taxiing, there are several. Two of the minor characters confuse a pair of missiles via the use of countermeasures. Noin actually starts to execute the classic missile defensive maneuver by putting the missiles on her 3/9 line, but doesn't complete it as one of her squadron kills the incoming missiles with his own.
    • Zechs is the master of this trope; he consistently dodges more missiles than anyone else, particularly showing off his skills in To Betray.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: Consistently averted on most points.
    • Aerody-whatsit?: The story reflects that the Taurus is the only mobile suit that actually has an overtly aerodynamic shape, with the others being various levels of the triumph of raw power over aerodynamics or having serious parasitic drag issues. In Taxiing the most power-over-aerodynamics suit in the series, the Aries, fights the Taurus, then the Taurus can basically outperform it in every meaningful aspect.
    • Gravity Shmavity!: Bruising from the seat restraints, difficulty breathing, and the sheer fatigue of a high-gee turn are all namechecked. In fact, during Unstick Noin actually weaponizes a high-gee maneuver by forcing a pilot who climbed into the Gundam Epyon into a negative-twelve-gee downwards loop to evade her attacks. This is far beyond human tolerance; the pilot loses consciousness and crashes.
    • My Missiles are Better.: Same as everyone elses'.
    • The Eyes of An Eagle.: Part of the problem with a high-gee turn is keeping your eyes on your opponent when really, all your neck wants to do is snap like a twig.
  • Last-Name Basis: Lucrezia Noin doesn't use her first name, exactly as in canon. Everyone is aware of this, which leads to a number of characters using respectful nicknames.
    • Noin tries to avoid referring to her subordinates by their first names in public, and is notably uncomfortable when she calls Forsythe "Lucille".
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Inflicted a few times; Trowa directs his squadron to use 288 missiles against only five Gundam targets at X-18722.
    • More often averted, however; missiles are usually conserved because they let pilots dig themselves out of trouble by either quickly evening long odds, or forcing enemies to worry about defending themselves rather than attacking.
    • A main character who salvos all their missiles at once is usually doing it because they want to jettison their missile racks; losing the extra weight and drag improves maneuverability.
  • Nose Art: Type C in full effect, as befits a Gundam series.
    • Noin's Taurus still wears the colors it had in Sanq Kingdom service, which manage to retroactively count as a flashy paint job since no other existing mobile suit is painted in Sanq colors.
    • Duo Maxwell's Taurus is painted in black with dark blue detailing.
      • Hilde Schebeiker begins using a black with white detailing version of the same scheme after the squadron arrives on Mars.
    • Trowa Barton's Serpent replaces the grey part of the standard Preventer grey and white paint scheme with Barton family royal blue as part of his decision to press his claim and become the real Trowa Barton.
    • Richard Dyer's Taurus is painted in a single-color flat grey, different from the standard Preventer grey-and-white; it's stated the paint is Alliance lunar camouflage, meaning that like Noin his suit counts as having a custom paint job because the entity it's standard to is defunct.
  • Nuclear Option: Discussed during Jink High 1; the captain of Intrepid points out that he technically has nuclear release authority after the Kinetic Kill Vehicle strike on Rome. Everyone else in the room immediately opposes it, with Noin pointing out that he only has authority because the standing orders were not written with the possibility a nuclear-armed Preventer unit would be near Mars when someone did something in the Earth Sphere using strategic weapons.
  • Oh, Crap!: A colony full of twenty-plus hostile Gundams?
    • Noin nearly panics when confronted with an Altron Gundam clone; it's implied later she was flashing back to her combat against the Shenlong piloted Wufei Chang.
    • After the Preventers and Mars Colonial Militia reject the use of nuclear weapons before the Second Battle of Mars, the Outer Colonies Federation uses a pair of them on the MMWS Minerva.
  • Really 17 Years Old: Noin lied about her age to join up and has been on active-duty service since sometime in her early teens, which is why she's a squadron commander at twenty-two. She implies that this was actually very common to her generation. Hilde Schebeiker also lied about her age to get her slot in the OZ Colonial Militia during the actual Mobile Suit Gundam Wing series. Contrast this with Duo and Hilde: everyone knows they are actually seventeen in the story's present, but it's treated as a non-issue because both proved able to fly combat when they were fifteen.
  • Reformed, But Rejected: Zechs Merquise tried to kill the vast majority of humanity. Humanity has not forgotten. This is implied to be a major source of his personal emotional problems and hence helped drive Noin away before the story started. Later he says he defected to the Outer Colonies to get back the respect he lost at the point of a gun.
    • Dyer has shades of this towards Noin at first; OZ killed nearly his entire extended family during Operation Daybreak. He revises his opinion of Noin at some point during or before On Burner.
  • Reverse Grip: Duo practices a reverse-grip beamsaber style which is designed to exploit the improved wrist rotation and strength of a mobile suit over a human. Noin is trying to learn it because she hasn't used a beamsaber since her basic training.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Noin's father is the Duke of Aosta, and though he corrects someone for using the title as the family has not in about a hundred years, they point out that he still nominally retains his position as a Prince of the House of Savoy (the Italian royal family). Noin herself is the Duchess of Apulia as his eldest child, and self-describes as "third backup for the King".
  • Perspective Flip: The Zechs Interludes.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Early on Noin has a few moments like this where she reflects on various things, ranging from nightmares about her first Gundam encounter to how few of her students survived.
    • Richard Dyer is described as having cold eyes and doesn't have an expression unless he's speaking. Given the fact his extended family was nearly wiped out during Operation Daybreak, it's not that surprising.
    • Zechs Merquise is openly tormented by his time in Epyon's cockpit; the suit gave him certainty and power, but the certainty was very much in the wrong things and he knows it. He also hears Trieze's voice often, and it seems to be critical, or even mocking, of him.
    • At more than one point, it's implied that everyone who was actually present for the Eve Wars (and possibly every human who was alive on Christmas Eve AC 195) has nightmares about the Libra drop attempt.
    • One of SMS 22's pilots, Phansekar, is invalided from flying after she admits she was having flashbacks in the cockpit; she was specifically flashing back to her landing after the Eve Wars and a landing that went bad at the last moment, which she couldn't recover from because her arm was injured.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Seen from two different perspectives in the story, Noin's response to Zechs asking if they can speak during the Second Battle of Mars is to have her squadron volley-fire their missiles at him.
  • Take That!: Lady Une, of all people, thinks Trieze was a bit of a shit for choosing to die rather than lending his considerable weight to building the new world he wanted. The concept of a war to end all wars is also described as unrealistic by different characters a number of times.
  • Team Mom: Noin, with Forsythe playing team mom to Noin on occasion.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: When forced to fight Gundams in On Burner this is the response of most of the pilots involved. Trowa Barton designates five targets for the 288 missiles his squadron launches in their opening volley, while The L2 Colonial Defense Force's Squadron Four volley-fires all their weapons into a single Gundam. Things actually tone down in close combat and the kills get generally more surgical.
  • Transforming Mecha: The ability of the Taurus to convert to an aerodynamic, high-speed fighter mode is played way up from the canon.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • A "Pilot's Kiss" is the X-shaped chest bruise caused by rapid deceleration and the four-point harness mobile suits use.
    • "Foxtrot Tango" is Alliance military for "I can not or will not obey your order." The literal translation would be "fuck that".
    • A "rocket ranger" is OZ Space Forces slang for an MS pilot who carries a weapon in the cockpit and is considered derogatory; it makes relatively little sense to have a weapon in your survival gear in space.
  • Unusual Weapon Mounting: The missile racks on a Preventer Taurus are faired housings for six missiles each, mounted on the suit's chest so they will fire forward in Fighter mode. When used in mobile suit mode, the suit appears to be firing a VLS system out of a pair of (small) breasts.
  • The War to End All Wars: The concept is mocked not so subtly by Lady Une, and discussed by Noin and her wing Forsythe at one point. Noin says they only last a generation and references her family's history with the two World Wars.
  • What You Are in the Dark: During the events of the last episodes of canon, Noin had a moment where she could have shot Epyon in the back and killed Zechs, preventing the Libra drop attempt. Noin considers her failure to act the greatest shame of her life. No one else knows she could have done anything.
  • Wing Man: Forsythe to Noin, performing the traditional duty of pouncing on anyone foolish enough to attack her lead. Among other things.